The 7 Dancer Recipes We're Making for Thanksgiving This Year
Tired of the typical turkey and stuffing? For Thanksgiving this year, try something different with these personal recipes that dancers have shared with Dance Magazine. The ingredients are packed with dancer-friendly nutrients to help you recover from rehearsals and fuel up for the holiday performances ahead.
If anyone raises an eyebrow at your unconventional choices, just remind them that dancers are allowed to take some artistic license!
To Start: Veggie Borscht, from Hubbard Street's Kevin J. Shannon
Black (left) and Shannon (right) cook show off their homemade borscht. Photo by Greg Birman.
For Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Kevin J. Shannon and his husband, fellow company dancer Craig D. Black Jr., cooking is a way to relax together after a busy day in the studio—often accompanied by a bottle of wine they've picked up somewhere on tour.
Shannon loves using vegetables they've grown in their backyard garden to cook up this vitamin-packed and vegetarian-friendly borscht.
- 2 tbsps. vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 1 leek, top and bottom removed (diced)
- 4 medium beets (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 3–4 carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 3–4 parsnips (peeled and chopped)
- 2 tbsps. white vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 48 oz. beef, chicken or vegetable broth (if you're keeping it vegetarian)
- 1 small/medium head of cabbage (halved and chopped)
- sour cream or yogurt
- pinch of dill and splash of lemon juice (optional)
- Heat oil in medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onion and leek. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add beets, carrots and parsnips. Cook another 5 minutes. Add vinegar. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Cook until beets are soft, about 10 minutes. Add broth. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 15–20 minutes, then add cabbage.
- Cook another 20 minutes.
- Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Add optional dill or lemon juice to taste. Serves 6–8.
For Protein: Jamaican Curry Chicken from ABT's Erica Lall
If you're like us and prefer chicken over turkey—particularly if it's got lots of flavor—try American Ballet Theatre corps member Erica Lall's family recipe for Jamaican Curry Chicken.
- 1–2 small potatoes, cubed
- 2–3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 4–6 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
- Lawry's seasoning salt
- 1 tsp. Jamaican curry powder
- 1 tsp. jerk seasoning
- 2 tsp. ketchup
- dried thyme
- coconut milk (about 1/4 can for 4 thighs)
- Rinse chicken and place in glass baking dish.
- Sprinkle seasoning salt, curry powder (about a full tsp. for four thighs or enough to color all sides of meat a bright yellow).
- Add 1 heaping tsp. of jerk seasoning, or a little more for more fire.
- Add ketchup.
- Mix to evenly coat all surfaces.
- Mix in onion, thyme, coconut milk and potatoes.
- Cover with foil and marinate in fridge for one hour.
- Bake at 375˚F for one hour.
- Serve over steamed Basmati rice.
As a Side: Prosciutto Pasta from The Royal's Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Whole wheat pasta can be a great source of healthy carbs. Courtesy Getty Images
Full disclosure: This pasta recipe from The Royal Ballet first soloist Beatriz Stix-Brunell is a favorite among the Dance Magazine editors. It's super tasty, easy to make, and is filled with healthy carbs to get you ready for a marathon season of Nutcracker performances.
Stix-Brunell likes to eat it early in the day if she's got a performance—typically around 2 pm so her stomach isn't too full to dance. But a small serving can also make a great side dish that's sure to please even the pickiest of your relatives. If you want to amp up the nutrients, toss in extra veggies like mushrooms, onions or even sun-dried tomatoes.
- 1 lb. whole-wheat penne
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 slices prosciutto, chopped into small ribbons
- 1/2 cup Pecorino cheese
- 3 bunches arugula, chopped into large pieces
- 1 tbsp. black pepper, freshly ground
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes).
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat; add oil and prosciutto and cook until crispy, then remove pan from heat.
- Drain pasta, but keep a little pasta water on the side.
- Transfer penne to a large serving bowl, then add Pecorino and toss, gradually adding leftover water to loosen up the pasta as needed.
- Add prosciutto, fresh arugula and black pepper. Toss well to combine.
To Sip: Nutcracker-Themed Drinks from Boston Ballet & The Joffrey Ballet
San Francisco Ballet performs the Spanish divertissement. Photo by Erik Tomasson.
In Dance Magazine's December 1990 issue, a number of dancers from Boston Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet sent us a whole list of Nutcracker-themed treats created by and for dancers. We love these simple drink options plucked straight out of the Land of the Sweets.
Russian Tea: Brew strong tea. Place 1 tsp. whole black cherry preserves or red plum preserves in a glass, and then fill glass with the tea.
Frothy Spanish Cocoa: Whip cocoa powder and hot low-fat milk in a blender. Garnish with a zest of orange, cinnamon or a toasted marshmallow.
Fragrant Arabian Coffee: Brew strong coffee. Crush four cardamom seeds in a cup and add zest of lemon before pouring coffee into it.
For Dessert: Pumpkin Cake from Rockette Sarah Staker
Sarah Staker (center), with fellow baker Rockettes Katelyn Gaffney and Christine Sienicki. Photo by Angela Cranford/MSG Photos, courtesy MSG.
Sarah Staker, a Rockette since 2010, loves to bring her great-grandma's pumpkin cake into the dressing room the day after Thanksgiving. "We can use the sugar and carb boost. Plus, it makes me feel like I have a piece of home with me no matter where I'm celebrating the holidays."
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups flour (not sifted)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 stick of butter
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar; beat well.
- Add oil, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, pumpkin and vanilla; beat well.
- Pour in a 13x9-inch pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick.
- For the icing, beat softened cream cheese and butter, add sugar and blend until smooth. Mix in vanilla.
- Let cake cool completely before spreading icing. Chill until serving.
Four years of lectures, exams and classes can feel like a lifetime for college dancers who have their sights set on performing. So when a professional opportunity comes knocking, it can be tempting to step away from your academics. But there are a few things to consider before putting your education on hold.
The way we create and consume dance is changing every day. Now more than ever, the field demands that dancers not only be able to perform at the highest level, but also collaborate with choreographers to bring their artistic visions to life. Dancers who miss out on choreographic training may very well find themselves at a disadvantage as they try to launch their careers.
We've all been there: You see the craziest/most beautiful/oddest/wildest clip of a dance on Facebook and you simply have to see more.
But do you actually get yourself to the theater and sit through a 90-minute performance? The consensus, at this point, typically seems to be: No.
There is no clear correlation between a company's social media campaigns and how many seats they fill in the theater. That doesn't mean social media isn't, of course, vital. It simply means that "social media campaigns operating without other marketing campaigns don't cut it," says Rob Bailis, associate director of Cal Performances at UC Berkeley. "But campaigns without social media are far worse off."
Since the project was first announced toward the end of 2017, we've been extremely curious about Yuli. The film, based on Carlos Acosta's memoir No Way Home, promised as much dancing as biography, with Acosta appearing as himself and dance sequences featuring his eponymous Cuba-based company Acosta Danza. Add in filmmaking power couple Icíar Bollaín (director) and Paul Laverty (screenwriter), and you have a recipe for a dance film unlike anything else we've seen recently.
It's not often that a promising choreographer gets to stage work in a world-class theater, on a skillfully-curated program with professional dancers, and with the possibility of winning a substantial cash prize. But at the McCallum Theatre's Palm Desert Choreography Festival, that's been the status quo for over twenty years.
Since Shea New, the festival's artistic director, founded the festival in 1998, she's worked tirelessly with McCallum's director of education and festival producer, Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, and stage manager and festival production manager Joanna Fookes to build a festival that nurtures choreographers, highlights high quality work, powerfully engages the local community and cultivates an audience base for dance in the Coachella Valley. The trio is backed by a strong team of professionals at McCallum and the brilliant volunteers from the local and national level who serve as adjudicators.
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One of the country's top arbitrators has decided to reinstate Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catazaro to New York City Ballet. The former principals were fired last fall for "inappropriate communications," namely graphic text messages.
The dancers' union, American Guild of Musical Artists, fought the termination, arguing that the firings were unjust since they related entirely to non-work activity. After a careful review of the facts, an independent arbitrator determined that while the company was justified in disciplining the two men, suspension was the appropriate action and termination took it too far.
A woman passes three men in the street. The men pursue her. They thrust their pelvises at her. They continue to pursue her after she slaps one's hand and walks away. They surround her. She glances around at them in alarm. One snatches her purse (to review the Freudian significance of purses, click here) and saunters off with it, mocking her. She tries to take the purse back, and the three men toss it over her head among each other. They make her dance with them. Each time she indicates "No," the men try harder to force her submission to their advances.
This is all within the first 10 minutes of Jerome Robbins's Fancy Free, a 1944 ballet about three sailors frolicking on shore leave during World War II, beloved by many and still regularly performed (especially during the last year, since 2018 was the centennial celebration of Robbins's birth). Critic Edwin Denby, after the premiere with Ballet Theatre, called it "a remarkable comedy piece" and "a direct, manly piece."
When you're bouncing between hotel rooms without access to a kitchen, eating a pescatarian diet can be challenging. Stephanie Mincone, who most recently traveled the globe with Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour, told Dance Magazine how she does it—while fueling herself with enough energy to perform for thousands of Taylor fans.
Choosing music for your first-ever choreography commission can feel daunting enough. But when you're asked to create a ballet using the vast discography of the Rolling Stones—and you happen to be dating Stones frontman Mick Jagger—the stakes are even higher.
So it's understandable that as of Monday, American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet dancer Melanie Hamrick, whose Port Rouge will have its U.S. premiere tonight at the Youth America Grand Prix gala, was still torn about which songs to include.
What is an acceptable request from a choreographer in terms of nudity? On the first day of shooting All That Jazz in the 1970s, Bob Fosse asked us men to remove everything but our jock straps and the women to remove their tops. His rationale was to shock us in order to build character, and it felt disloyal to refuse. Would this behavior be considered okay today?
As much as audiences might flock to Swan Lake or The Nutcracker, ballet can't only rely on old war horses if it wants to remain relevant. But building new full-lengths from scratch isn't exactly cheap.
So where can companies find the money?
Today—April 16, 2019—marks what would have been Merce Cunningham's 100th birthday. As dancers from Los Angeles to New York City to London gear up for Night of 100 Solos (the marathon performance event being livestreamed today), and as companies and presenters worldwide continue to celebrate the Cunningham Centennial through their programming, we searched through the Dance Magazine Archives to unearth our favorite images of the groundbreaking dancemaker.
A bright disposition with a dab of astringent charm is how I remember Brock Hayhoe, a National Ballet School of Canada schoolmate. Because we were a couple years apart, we barely brushed shoulders, except at the odd Toronto dance party where we could dance all night with mutual friends letting our inhibitions subside through the music. Dancing always allows a deeper look.
But, as my late great ballet teacher Pyotr Pestov told me when I interviewed him for Dance Magazine in 2009, "You never know what a flower is going to look like until it opens up."
The entrancing power of Instagram can't be denied. I've lost hours of my life scrolling the platform looking at other people documenting theirs. What starts as a "quick" fill-the-moment check-in can easily lead to a good 10-15 minute session, especially if I enter the nebulous realm of "suggested videos."
My algorithm usually shows me professional ballet dancers in performances, rehearsals, class, backstage and on tour, which I quite enjoy. But there are the other dance feeds that I find myself simultaneously intrigued and horrified by: the hyper-elastic, hyper-extended, gumby-footed girls always at the barre doing developpés to six o'clock. There are the multiple turners, the avid stretchers and we can't forget the endless balancers.
This parade of tricksters always makes me wonder, What else can they do? Can they actually dance?
The pleasure of watching prodigies perform technical feats on Instagram can be tinged with a sense of trepidation. Impressive tricks, you think, but do they have what it takes for an actual career?
Just look at 18-year-old Maria Khoreva, who has more followers than most seasoned principals; in videos, her lines and attention to detail suggested a precocious talent, and led to a Nike ambassador contract before she even graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy. Still, when she joined the Mariinsky Ballet last summer, there was no guarantee any of it would translate to stage prowess.
As more states legalize cannabis, it seems the sales pitch for cannabidiol—or CBD—gets broader and broader. A quick internet search turns up claims that CBD helps with pain, depression, acne, arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, heart disease, post-traumatic stress, epilepsy and cancer. But the marketplace is unregulated, which makes it tricky to find out what CBD actually does.
One night. Three cities. Seventy-five dancers. And three unique sets of 100 solos, all choreographed by Merce Cunningham.
This incredible evening of dance will honor Cunningham's 100th birthday on April 16. The Merce Cunningham Trust has teamed up with The Barbican in London, the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City and the Center for the Art of Performance in Los Angeles for a tri-city celebration.
The best part? You don't have to be in those cities to watch—Night of 100 Solos is being live-streamed in its entirety for free.
When George Balanchine's full-length Don Quixote premiered in 1965, critics and audiences alike viewed the ballet as a failure. Elaborate scenery and costumes framed mawkish mime passages, like one in which the ballerina washed the Don's feet and dried them with her hair. Its revival in 2005 by Suzanne Farrell, the ballerina on whom it was made and to whom Balanchine left the work, did little to alter its reputation.
Yet at New York City Center's Balanchine festival last fall, some regretted its absence.
"I'd want to see Balanchine's Don Quixote," says Apollinaire Scherr, dance critic for the Financial Times. "It was a labor of love on his part, and a love letter as well. And you want to know what that looks like in his work."
Even great choreographers make mistakes. Sometimes they fail on a grand scale, like Don Quixote; other times it may be a minor misstep. Experiment and risk help choreographers grow, but what happens when a choreographer of stature misfires? Should the work remain in the repertory? And what about a work that fails on some levels but not others?
After the horrific March 15 terrorist attacks at two New Zealand mosques, the music and arts community sprang into action to plan a way to help victims and their families. A series of resulting concerts, titled "You Are Us/Aroha Nui," will take place in New Zealand (April 13 and 17), Jersey City, New Jersey (April 17) and Los Angeles (April 18). Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Our People, Our City Fund, which was established by the Christchurch Foundation to aid those affected by the attacks.
Throughout 2019, the Merce Cunningham Trust continues a global celebration that will be one of the largest tributes to a dance artist ever. Under the umbrella of the Merce Cunningham Centennial are classes and workshops, film screenings and festivals, art exhibitions and symposia, and revivals and premieres of original works inspired by the dancemaker's ideas. The fever peaks on April 16, which would have been the pioneering choreographer's 100th birthday, with Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event, featuring a total of 75 dancers in three performances live-streamed from London, Los Angeles and New York City.
Cloud & Victory gets dancers. The dancewear brand's social media drools over Roberto Bolle's abs, sets classical variations to Beyoncé and moans over Mondays and long adagios. And it all comes from the mind of founder Tan Li Min, the boss lady who takes on everything from designs to inventory to shipping orders.
Known simply (and affectionately) to the brand's 41K Instagram followers as Min, she's used her wry, winking sense of humor to give the Singapore-based C&V international cachet.
She recently spoke with Dance Magazine about building the brand, overcoming insecurity and using pizza as inspiration.
The Ballet Memphis New American Dance Residency, which welcomes selected choreographers for its inaugural iteration next week, goes a step beyond granting space, time and dancers for the development of new work.